Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Motivation-Emotion, The Self.

Description: A seasonal classic film (well there are MANY versions) is A Christmas Carol. In it as in the Dickens novel it arose from, Scrooge tells the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, that he is not real but is, perhaps “an undigested bit of beef, a blob of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave in you, whatever you are!” I have read that line several times and heard it in various film adaptations (my favourite is the one with Alastair Sim as Scrooge) and always found it amusing and a fitting reflection of Scrooges “Humbug” approach to many things. What I did not know until today is that the Scrooge line actually reflects a game that was popular in the mid 1800’s when Dicken’s wrote the novel. The game was called “What did I eat last night?” and it involves individuals consulting notes they wrote upon awakening that day and telling a group of people about their dreams over the previous evening. The goal of the game was for audience members to guess, or figure out, what the person had eaten the day before that influenced their dreams, perhaps leading to them dreaming of a visitation by the ghost of their dead business partner. Now that is enough Christmas Carol trivia but think about the theory of dreaming it includes … that what you eat can influence your dreams. What do you think of that? What other theories of dreaming have you heard about? There was Freud, of course, with his view that dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious” … to the Id’s domain full of repressed instinctual (sexual) desires that gain expression symbolically in dreams. The problem was that dream interpretation using the many textbooks written to inform that practice only seemed to work when used in the context of therapy where the therapist/dream interpreter knew their client very well. When the dreamer was not known to the interpreter the analysis rarely fit very well if at all. Perhaps you have heard of more recent theories that suggest that dreams are simply random brain activity that we make some sense of the internal experience if we remember it when we wake up or in terms of the Activation Synthesis model where we only apply interpretation or meaning as we wake up. Perhaps, though, there ARE ways in which our recent/current life experiences influence or even drive out dreams. Think about what sorts of dreams you have when you are seriously stressed or dealing with tight timelines and related pressures. You do not need special training in dream analysis to see some connections between your life and your dreams. So, should you be setting aside regular times to reflect on your dreams or perhaps to even discuss them with others? If you did what would be your rationale for doing so … what would be your theory of dreams and dream interpretation? Think about that for a moment and then read the article linked below for a discussion of options.

Source: Sweet dreams are made of this: Why dream analysis is flourishing, Sally Howard, The Observer.

Date: December 4, 2021

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

Article Link:

Rather than trying to figure out definitively what dreams are, where they come from or how to make the right sense of them it may help to think about this business differently. Our search for purpose and meaning in life is ongoing from our teen years and onward throughout life. Instead of viewing dreams as some mystical source of deeper meaning how about if we look at dreams and dream interpretation as a potentially valuable tool in the self-reflection that is at the core of searches for life purpose and meaning? In that line talking with others about our dreams is really about talking with others about our efforts to better understand ourselves, or situations, and our lives and THAT can be very very helpful. So, instead of worrying what any Freudians around us might think about our dream symbology perhaps we should relax and think of our dreams as opportunities to reflect and perhaps to gain personal insights (and maybe purpose and meaning)!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is the Activation Synthesis theory of dreaming?
  2. What was Freud’s view of dreams and dreaming and how might his view have led us to set aside dream interpretation at the same time we set aside much of Freud’s theories of human functioning?
  3. What is or are your theory or theories of dreaming and how might you make use of them or perhaps of some of the other approaches suggested in the linked article to engage in regular self-reflection?

References (Read Further):

Zadra, A., Desjardins, S., & Marcotte, E. (2006). Evolutionary function of dreams: A test of the threat simulation theory in recurrent dreams. Consciousness and Cognition, 15(2), 450-463. Link

Zadra, A., & Robert, G. (2012). Dream recall frequency: Impact of prospective measures and motivational factors. Consciousness and cognition, 21(4), 1695-1702. Link

Pagel, J. F., Blagrove, M., Levin, R., Stickgold, B., & White, S. (2001). Definitions of dream: A paradigm for comparing field descriptive specific studies of dream. Dreaming, 11(4), 195-202. Link

Eichenlaub, J. B., Cash, S. S., & Blagrove, M. (2017). Daily life experiences in dreams and sleep-dependent memory consolidation. In Cognitive neuroscience of memory consolidation (pp. 161-172). Springer, Cham. Link

Bonato, R. A., Moffitt, A. R., Hoffmann, R. F., Cuddy, M. A., & Wimmer, F. L. (1991). Bizarreness in dreams and nightmares. Dreaming, 1(1), 53. Link

Freud, S. (2012). On dreams. Courier Corporation. Link

Freud, S., & Strachey, J. (1996). The interpretation of dreams (p. 217). New York: Gramercy Books. Link

Jung, C. G. (1989). Memories, dreams, reflections. Vintage. Link

Wamsley, E. J., & Stickgold, R. (2011). Memory, sleep, and dreaming: Experiencing consolidation. Sleep medicine clinics, 6(1), 97-108. Link

Wamsley, E. J. (2013). Dreaming, waking conscious experience, and the resting brain: report of subjective experience as a tool in the cognitive neurosciences. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 637. Link


Posted by & filed under Altruism Prosocial Behaviour, Interpersonal Attraction Close Relationships, Motivation-Emotion, Social Cognition, Social Psychology, Social Psychology, The Self.

Description: I suspect you recall being told as a child not to talk to strangers. Good advice. But what about today, as an adult? When you find yourself in a situation (perhaps waiting in a line or for an event to start) where you are talking with a stranger what sorts of things do you talk about? Would you speak with them about anything “deep” (something that maters to you)? If you did how do you think it would go? Maybe also think a bit about the possible “whys” behind your thoughts on or answers to these questions. Once you have your thoughts in order have a read through the article linked below that talks about a large social psychological investigation of these questions. The results may surprise you.

Source: New psychology research finds deep conversations with strangers tend to go better than people expect, Eric W. Dolan, Psypost.

Date: December 10, 2021

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, were you surprised to read that deep conversations with strangers tend to go better than we expect? As the researchers suggest we ARE social beings and so perhaps it should be a surprise we can be social with people we do not know. As well, it may help the conversation that the strangers we speak with do not know us as a friend or family member might. This may not be due to our being able to lie with a stranger but rather to our ability to more readily taken at face value by a stranger and thus we may get more out of the interaction. We should be cautious in approaching or opening up to strangers, but it may be that we do not need to avoid doing so entirely, at least as adults.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How do you approach conversations with strangers?
  2. Were your expectations regarding stranger chats supported or shifted by the research discussed in the article?
  3. Why might deep conversations with strangers work better than we expect?

References (Read Further):

Kardas, M., Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2021). Overly shallow?: Miscalibrated expectations create a barrier to deeper conversation. Journal of personality and social psychology. Link

Peter, J., Valkenburg, P. M., & Schouten, A. P. (2006). Characteristics and motives of adolescents talking with strangers on the Internet. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(5), 526-530. Link

Sandstrom, G. M., & Boothby, E. J. (2021). Why do people avoid talking to strangers? A mini meta-analysis of predicted fears and actual experiences talking to a stranger. Self and Identity, 20(1), 47-71. Link

Schlinger, H. D. (2014). Publishing outside the box: unforeseen dividends of talking to strangers. The Behavior Analyst, 37(2), 77-81. Link

Sandstrom, G., Boothby, E., & Cooney, G. (2021). Talking to strangers-A week-long intervention reduces psychological barriers to social connection. Link

Posted by & filed under Development of the Self, General Psychology, Group Processes, Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Motivation-Emotion, Personality, Persuasion, Social Psychology, Social Psychology, Stress Coping - Health.

Description: Are you a devotee of either Back Friday or Boxing Day Sales? If so, or if not (and it does seem to be a rather binary choice) why do you think that is? What is it that you like or do not like about the sales? Of course, it could be the bargains (if you are a sale liker) or it could be the consumerism (if you are a non-liker) but what else might it involve? What are some psychological variables that might play a role? Once you have an hypothesis or two in mind have a read through the article linked below that suggests a few possible psychology derived links.

Source: Why Some People Love Black Friday – and Others Hate It, According to Psychologists, Michael Breazeale, The Conversation and

Date: November 27, 2021

Image by Andrew-Art from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, are you a task achiever or a social connector? What is your comfortable social distance (outside of Covid mandates)? What strategies do you use if you have to or want to venture out into the big sales? It helps to see that at least some of what draws you to or repels you from such sales may be related to things other than just your consumer profile. Knowing what might be at play psychologically can help you plan sale strategies as the article author suggests or choose to shop online and avoid the spectacle entirely!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Did you see something of yourself or of other you know in the psychological concepts suggested as being relevant to big sale preferences?
  2. How do retailers leverage aspects of the psychological concepts discussed in the sale planning and marketing?
  3. Have you started to develop your own big sale strategies based on what you have read and if so what are you going to try and do?

References (Read Further):

Elliot, A. J. (2006). The hierarchical model of approach-avoidance motivation. Motivation and emotion, 30(2), 111-116. Link

Baker, J., & Wakefield, K. L. (2012). How consumer shopping orientation influences perceived crowding, excitement, and stress at the mall. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(6), 791-806. Link

Raymen, T., & Smith, O. (2016). What’s deviance got to do with it? Black Friday sales, violence and hyper-conformity. British Journal of Criminology, 56(2), 389-405. Link

Simpson, L., Taylor, L., O’Rourke, K., & Shaw, K. (2011). An analysis of consumer behavior on Black Friday. American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Link

Swilley, E., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2013). Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Understanding consumer intentions on two major shopping days. Journal of retailing and consumer services, 20(1), 43-50. Link

Kwon, H. J., & Brinthaupt, T. M. (2015). The motives, characteristics and experiences of US Black Friday shoppers. Journal of global fashion marketing, 6(4), 292-302. Link

Posted by & filed under Anxiety OC PTSD, Health Psychology, Motivation-Emotion, Neuroscience, Sensation-Perception, Stress, Stress Biopsychosocial Factors Illness, Stress Coping - Health, Stress: Coping Reducing, Student Success.

Description: Are you feeling stressed and/or anxious these days? I would be surprised if you were not. Without dwelling on it and making yourself feel worse, what are the top three things that are making you feel stressed or anxious? We typically think of things or situations or circumstances when asked about what is causing us stress/anxiety. But, what about uncertainty? Was uncertainty or not knowing on your list? At this particular moment in time with the recent identification of the Omicron COVID variant and with the almost complete lack of data/ information about its virulence, vaccine resistance, or the intensity/consequences of infection uncertainty is front and center and, with our now 2 years of experience with Covid-19 we have had a lot of experience with uncertainty. It is not much of a silver lining, but it may help to take advantage of this recent acquaintance with and personal studies of uncertainty to gain a potentially useful deeper understanding of the central role that uncertainty plays in how our brain drives our experiences of stress and anxiety. Think for a minute about what role or roles uncertainty might play in our experiences of stress and anxiety and then read the article linked below to see what research has to say about the link and about what sorts of tings we can do to manage it.

Source: Our brains abhor uncertainty, but we can learn to cope. Erin Anderssen, The Globe and Mail.

Date: December 4, 2021

Image by qimono from Pixabay

Article Link: to come

A good way to think about the stress/anxiety systems that emerged within our evolving brains is to focus on survival, or more specifically, on our reactions to the good or bad things that pop up in the environment around us. Good things can help us or at least are inconsequential but bad things can take us out, so we have evolved a bias towards noting negative things more quickly that noting positive things. Make sense? But maybe just noticing things as they appear might not provide us with a sufficiently powerful survival advantage. Noticing a bear charging out of the woods towards you could increase your odds of survival but, being on edge because you are unfamiliar with your current territory and do not know where the bears are, could be an equally powerful aide to survival. The title of the classic Bruce Cockburn song “Wondering Where the Lions Are” speaks to this as well. The bottom line might be that while stress may be tied to present things, anxiety is more tightly tied to uncertainty, and we are having a LOT of uncertainty these days. What to do? Well, think that it is good to notice the central role of uncertainty in driving anxiety and then select from the number of coping with uncertainty option discussed in the article and get going on coping with your experiences with uncertainty.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are three things that contribute you your own feelings of stress or anxiety?
  2. What role does uncertainty play in our anxieties, our evolution and our survival?
  3. What are some of the things we can do to cope effectively with the things (anxiety etc.) that arise from our encounters with uncertainty?

References (Read Further):

Berns, G. S., Capra, C. M., Moore, S., & Noussair, C. (2008). A shocking experiment: New evidence on probability weighting and common ratio violations. Link

Berns, G. S., Chappelow, J., Cekic, M., Zink, C. F., Pagnoni, G., & Martin-Skurski, M. E. (2006). Neurobiological substrates of dread. Science, 312(5774), 754-758. Link

Hirsh, J. B., & Inzlicht, M. (2008). The devil you know: Neuroticism predicts neural response to uncertainty. Psychological science, 19(10), 962-967. Link

Carleton, R. N. (2016). Into the unknown: A review and synthesis of contemporary models involving uncertainty. Journal of anxiety disorders, 39, 30-43. Link

Gu, R., Ge, Y., Jiang, Y., & Luo, Y. J. (2010). Anxiety and outcome evaluation: the good, the bad and the ambiguous. Biological psychology, 85(2), 200-206. Link

Robinson, O. J., Vytal, K., Cornwell, B. R., & Grillon, C. (2013). The impact of anxiety upon cognition: perspectives from human threat of shock studies. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7, 203. Link


Posted by & filed under Assessment: Intellectual-Cognitive Measures, Higher-Order Cognitive Functions in Aging, Personality, Successful Aging.

Description: Are you wise (not as in wise guy but as in wise like an owl)? What does wisdom involve? What sorts of things, if you observed them in the behavior of, or otherwise applying to, a particular person would lead you towards thinking that they were a wise person? Now think of this as an individual difference psychology question. What sort of questions would you ask them to assist you in your assessment of their wiseness?  What if you did not want to ask them essay type questions, what sort of survey or rating scale (e.g., 1 to 5) questions would you ask them to assess their wiseness? Would you be able to determine a level of wisdom by asking only 7 questions? Sound too simple for such a weighty construct? Well, it might be but, the survey construction question is can a 7-item scale be valid. To find out what is meant by valid and how validity and which 7 items are determined, rad the article linked below and, for more detail and to get a look at the 7 items, have a look at the research article the linked article refers to (link in the Further Reading section below). Then start your search for wise people!

Source: Can seven questions determine how wise you are? ScienceDirect.

Date: Dec 3, 2021

Image by GDJ from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, what are the 7 questions? Well, here they are:

  1. I remain calm under pressure
  2. I avoid self-reflection (reverse scored)
  3. I enjoy being exposed to diverse viewpoints
  4. I tend to postpone making major decisions as long as I can (reverse scored)
  5. I often don’t know what to tell people when they come to me for advice (reverse scored)
  6. My spiritual belief gives me inner strength
  7. I avoid situations where I know my help will be needed (reverse scored)

If you think of this scale as the point of a pyramid, you can begin to work backwards to the thicker bits and come to a better understanding of how individual difference psychologists develop scales and determine validity. The concepts in question arose from previous research and lead to the statement that wisdom is “comprised of 7 components: self-reflection, pro-social behaviors (such as empathy, compassion and altruism), emotional regulation, acceptance of diverse perspectives, decisiveness, social advising (such as giving rational and helpful advice to others) and spirituality.” Those concepts seem to make sense, but how comfortable are you that each of the 7 items solidly (validly) captures its responsive wisdom component or concept? Well scores on the 7-item scale correlate with things that are believed to be positively correlated with wisdom including resilience, happiness and mental well-being and strongly negatively correlated with loneliness, depression and anxiety. Not bad! If this feels a bit thin or fragile to you it might help to know that the development of a short scale is NOT seem as and end goal. The value of having such a short, valid, scale is that it can be more easily deployed in a wide range of additional research, and applied intervention situations and can broaden our understanding of wisdom and its role in human adaptation and functioning.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What makes some people wise?
  2. What sorts of things that can observe or ask about help you decide if a person is wise?
  3. What sorts of used might a 7-item scale of wisdom have both in terms of research and in terms of application/intervention?

References (Read Further):

Thomas, Michael L., Palmer, Barton W., Lee, Ellen E., Liu, Jinyuan, Daly, Rebecca, Tu, Xin M., Jeste, Dilip V. (2021)  Abbreviated San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE-7) and Jeste-Thomas Wisdom Index (JTWI). International Psychogeriatrics, Online First. Link

Glück, J. (2018). Measuring wisdom: Existing approaches, continuing challenges, and new developments. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 73(8), 1393-1403. Link

Glück, J. (2018). New developments in psychological wisdom research: A growing field of increasing importance. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 73, Issue 8, 1335–1338. Link

Gugerell, S. H., & Riffert, F. (2011). On defining “wisdom”: Baltes, Ardelt, Ryan, and Whitehead. Interchange, 42(3), 225-259. Link

Law, A., & Staudinger, U. M. (2016). Eudaimonia and wisdom. In Handbook of eudaimonic well-being (pp. 135-146). Springer, Cham. Link

Ardelt, M. (2004). Where can wisdom be found?. Human Development, 47(5), 304-307. Link

Glück, J., König, S., Naschenweng, K., Redzanowski, U., Dorner-Hörig, L., Straßer, I., & Wiedermann, W. (2013). How to measure wisdom: Content, reliability, and validity of five measures. Frontiers in psychology, 4, 405. Link

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Health and Prevention In Aging, Health Psychology, Psychological Disorders, Research Methods.

Description: Read just the title of the article linked below. Now, what questions or hypotheses pop up for you with just the title in mind? If you have had a psychology or a statistics course you will recognize the title as a typical example of a statement of correlation. Psychiatric disorders and type 2 diabetes, the title suggests, are related to one another, or they co-occur. Interesting but what questions do you have? How about “But why?” Now there is the important question. Think about what you can come up with in the way of possible answers to the “but why” question and then read the article linked below to see if your hypotheses match any of those examined by the researchers.

Source: Psychiatric Disorders and Type 2 Diabetes Often Go Together, Robert Preidt, Health News, US News and World Reports.

Date: November 30, 2021

Image by Saydung89 from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, having read the linked article are you satisfied that you know have a clear answer to the “but why?” question?  The research in question was a meta-analytic study in that it looked at what 245 separate studies had to say about the relationship between the disorder or disorders they studied and type 2 diabetes. While a number of disorders were linked to levels of type 2 diabetes above the population average the strongest relationship (40%) was seen in relation to sleep disorders. The main focus on sleep disorders from that point on in the article suggests that sleep difficulties may be the critical point of correlational connection, though it does not clearly suggest a causal direction hypothesis: does lack of good sleep cause type 2 diabetes or does type 2 diabetes cause a lack of sleep? And what about the other disorders with elevated levels of type 2 diabetes? Given these uncertainties it is fitting that their closing statement I a version  of “further research is needed”.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Are type 2 diabetes and psychological disorders related and if so to what extent?
  2. Why might such correlations exist?
  3. What sorts of studies need to be done if we are to be able to unpack and better understand the causal factors involved in the observed relationships between type 2 diabetes and psychological disorders?

References (Read Further):

Lindekilde, N., Scheuer, S. H., Rutters, F., Knudsen, L., Lasgaard, M., Rubin, K. H., … & Pouwer, F. (2021). Prevalence of type 2 diabetes in psychiatric disorders: an umbrella review with meta-analysis of 245 observational studies from 32 systematic reviews. Diabetologia, 1-17. Abstract Link Related Link

Llorente, M. D., & Urrutia, V. (2006). Diabetes, psychiatric disorders, and the metabolic effects of antipsychotic medications. Clinical Diabetes, 24(1), 18-24. Link

de Ornelas Maia, A. C. C., de Azevedo Braga, A., Brouwers, A., Nardi, A. E., & e Silva, A. C. D. O. (2012). Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with diabetes types 1 and 2. Comprehensive psychiatry, 53(8), 1169-1173. Link

Lindekilde, N., Nefs, G., Henriksen, J. E., Lasgaard, M., Schram, M., Rubin, K., … & Pouwer, F. (2019). Psychiatric disorders as risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus: an umbrella review protocol. BMJ open, 9(5), e024981. Link

Posted by & filed under Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Intelligence, Language-Thought, Persuasion.

Description: How well do you think you would do in the following situation? You are asked to predict how likely a number of world events are to occur (from 0 to 100%). Question may include: Will North Korea launch a nuclear missile in the next year? Or Is Greece going to leave the European Union in the next 6 months? Yes, you are an amateur predictor not an analyst or diplomat but let’s up the ante further. Imagine you are making your predictions as a participant in a predicting contest that includes representatives of a number of large American government agencies including the CIA (who have access to intelligence they themselves have collected). What is your prediction of how well you would do in a competition like that? I bet you do not like your odds! Now, would it surprise you to hear that a group of amateur forecasters who participated in some research on forecasting with a psychologist (Phil Tetlock) beat the experts so badly that the conveners of the competition (who are interested in improving prediction of such events) kicked out ALL the experts and studied the processes used by Tetlock’s ‘Superforecasters.’ You can read about this in the linked article below or you can listen to an interview with Phil Tetlock regarding the work that lead to his book “Superforecasting” The Art and Science of Prediction”

Source: Predicting the Future is Possible. These ‘Superforecasters’ Know How. Phil Tetlock, The Ezra Kline Show and The New York Times

Date: December 3, 2021

Image by geralt from Pixabay

Article Link:


So, did it surprise you to hear that having a lot of knowledge in an area and being a good predictor of what will happen next in that area (a typical definition of an expert) are largely unrelated? Tetlock’s work and the work of others that he draws upon, speaks to some of the ways through which Superforecasters succeed. The distinction between taking an inside versus and outside view to a forecasting problem ties directly into the line of research that won Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky a Nobel prize (e.g., humans avoid base-rate data (outside view) when they really do not know anything particular about a case (inside view) they are being asked to predict). It is good to know that we can be better forecasters, though the challenge is to actually do what we should be doing to improve.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Who beat the experts in the forecasting competition?
  2. What did the Superforecasters do that the experts did not do?
  3. What sorts of things can you take away from the discussion of Superforecasters and use in your own life predictions?

References (Read Further):

Tetlock, P. E., & Gardner, D. (2016). Superforecasting: The art and science of prediction. Random House. Publisher Link

Schoemaker, P. J., & Tetlock, P. E. (2016). Superforecasting: How to upgrade your company’s judgment. Harvard Business Review, 94(5), 73-78. Link

Katsagounos, I., Thomakos, D. D., Litsiou, K., & Nikolopoulos, K. (2021). Superforecasting reality check: Evidence from a small pool of experts and expedited identification. European journal of operational research, 289(1), 107-117. Link

Karvetski, C. W. Superforecasters: A Decade of Stochastic Dominance. Link

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. science, 185(4157), 1124-1131. Link

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1977). Intuitive prediction: Biases and corrective procedures. Decisions and Designs Inc Mclean Va. Link

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Assessment: Clinical Decision Making, Health Psychology, Motivation-Emotion, Stress Coping - Health, Stress: Coping Reducing, Treatment of Psychological Disorders.

Description: The working definition of binge watching (of TV shows) is watching2 or more episodes of a show at one sitting. Have you every done that? If so, have you every thought that binge watching might be a problem (or at least a potential problem) for you? If you want to figure that out for yourself, what criteria will you use? Think about what criteria you might use and then read the article linked below to see what a researcher in this area suggests.

Source: Are you binge-watching too much? How to know if your TV habits are a problem – and what to do about it, Mark Griffiths, The Conversation.

Date: December 3, 2021

Image by Sammy-Sander from Pixabay

Article Link:

It is important to be clear that the author of the linked article is NOT saying that we need to consider adding binge watching to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). He IS suggesting that the criteria used to define an addition could be useful in deciding when binge watching has shifted from an adaptive pass-time to a problem that needs to be addressed. Not stopping there, the searcher goes on to discuss research that provides some support for using the addiction-based criteria to draw lines between adaptive and maladaptive binge watching. His suggestions for how to stop doing it are helpful as well.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What criteria for problematic binge watching did you come up with before reading the linked article?
  2. How did your criteria compare to those suggested by the author of the linked article?
  3. How might we get information about these criteria out to those who might benefit from knowing them (without making then feel defensive)?

References (Read Further):

Dixit, A., Marthoenis, M., Arafat, S. Y., Sharma, P., & Kar, S. K. (2020). Binge watching behavior during COVID 19 pandemic: a cross-sectional, cross-national online survey. Psychiatry research, 289, 113089. Link

Griffiths, M. (2005). A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework. Journal of Substance use, 10(4), 191-197. Link

Starosta, J., Izydorczyk, B., & Wontorczyk, A. (2021). Anxiety-Depressive Syndrome and Binge-Watching Among Young Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 2895. Link

Ahmed, A. A. A. M. (2017). New era of TV-watching behavior: Binge watching and its psychological effects. Media Watch, 8(2), 192-207. Link

Wheeler, K. S. (2015). The relationships between television viewing behaviors, attachment, loneliness, depression, and psychological well-being. Link

Tóth-Király, I., Bőthe, B., Tóth-Fáber, E., Hága, G., & Orosz, G. (2017). Connected to TV series: Quantifying series watching engagement. Journal of behavioral addictions, 6(4), 472-489. Link

Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Language-Thought, Motivation-Emotion, Persuasion, Social Psychology.

Description: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, instead of getting vaccinated against Covid-19 followed an immune system strengthening regime (not entirely proven effective) and, when asked if he was vaccinated said he was immunized but avoided any mention of vaccination. Rodgers claimed be is not a flat-earther or an anti-vaxer but that he IS a critical thinker. Does his behavior fit with your definition of critical thinking? If you think not, then you agree with the position of the author of the article linked below. Read the article and see what he has to say about Arron Rodger’s behavior and thought processes and, more importantly, what he has to say about critical thinking and about how you can more consistently apply solid critical thinking skills to your own decision making processes.

Source: Aaron Rodgers dropped the ball on critical thinking – with a little practice you can do better, Joe Arvai, The Conversation.

Date: December 1, 2021

Image by OpenClipart-Vestors  from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, did your thoughts about the nature of critical thinking and the lack of same demonstrated by Aaron Rodgers line up with the thoughts and research data provided by the author of the linked article? Have you committed to the three ingredients of critical thinking (i.e., 1. Balance your instinctive reactions, 2. Follow important basic principles of information search and use, and 3. Now when to outsource your critical thinking)? It is worth thinking about setting up your own bootcamp for better critical thinking, … your decision making will improve!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. In what ways to the statements attributed to Aaron Rodgers regarding vaccination and Covid immunity NOT reflect critical thinking?
  2. What does effective critical thinking involve and what would using more of it do for you?
  3. What can people do to improve their critical thinking skills and are you going to take any of this advice?

References (Read Further):

Cohen, A. S., Lutzke, L., Otten, C. D., & Árvai, J. (2021). I Think, Therefore I Act: The Influence of Critical Reasoning Ability on Trust and Behavior During the COVID‐19 Pandemic. Risk Analysis. Link

Árvai, J., & Gregory, R. (2021). Beyond choice architecture: A building code for structuring climate risk management decisions. Behavioural Public Policy, 5(4), 556-575. Link

Bessette, D. L., Wilson, R. S., & Arvai, J. L. (2021). Do people disagree with themselves? Exploring the internal consistency of complex, unfamiliar, and risky decisions. Journal of Risk Research, 24(5), 593-605. Link

Drummond, C., & Fischhoff, B. (2019). Does “putting on your thinking cap” reduce myside bias in evaluation of scientific evidence?. Thinking & Reasoning, 25(4), 477-505. Link

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Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Memory, Motivation-Emotion, Persuasion, Social Cognition, Social Psychology.

Description: Consider the best (fairest and most accurate) way to gather information from eyewitnesses. Specifically, think about the standard police procedure of using line-ups in which, usually, 6 individuals are lined up on the other side of a one way window or 6 photos are gathered together and possible witnesses to a crime are asked to look and say if one of the people in the line-up or photo array was the person (perpetrator) the witness may have observed at the crime scene or committing the crime. What have you heard of in the way of research (not necessarily what you have seen in police shows on TV) about the ways such lieu -ups can or should be done in order to limit false-positives (in which someone is identified but who was not actually the perpetrator) or false negatives, (where the perpetrator is there but not identified)? In the case of false-negatives, fewer such memory errors have been shown to occur when the line-up is sequential (each of 6 people or photos are viewed one at a time on their own) as opposed to simultaneously (all 6 people or photos viewed at once). Now think about how this might play out over time. In many cases involving line-ups witnesses are asked to pick out the assailant or perpetrator a number of times (e.g., early in investigations, in preparation for trial and again during in-court eyewitness testimony). Can you think of some eye-witness memory issues that may arise in relation to such time/timeline scenarios? Once you have your hypothesis in order ready the article linked below that describes some research in this exact question.

Source: One and Done: Researchers Urge Test Eyewitness Memory Only Once, Association for Psychological Science.

Date: November 3, 2021

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, did the “that person looks familiar” effect of multiple instances of the “same” eyewitness assessment occur to you as a problem? The research and the specific case example provided in the article make it clear that is an issue that, like the sequential/simultaneous presentation issue described above should be used (along with supporting research) to review and perhaps reconsider how eyewitness identifications are handled withing the justice system.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are the differences between a sequential and simultaneous line-up (which is better)?
  2. How do current practices in eye-witness report management effect the validity of those reports?
  3. What might justice system practice guidelines for managing eyewitness reports look like if the research discussed in the linked article is seriously considered?

References (Read Further):

Wixted, J. T., Wells, G. L., Loftus, E. F., & Garrett, B. L. (2021). Test a witness’s memory of a suspect only once. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 22(1_suppl), 1S-18S. Link

Lindsay, R. C., & Wells, G. L. (1985). Improving eyewitness identifications from lineups: Simultaneous versus sequential lineup presentation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70(3), 556. Link

Wells, G. L., Rydell, S. M., & Seelau, E. P. (1993). The selection of distractors for eyewitness lineups. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(5), 835. Link

Lee, J., & Penrod, S. D. (2019). New signal detection theory-based framework for eyewitness performance in lineups. Law and human behavior, 43(5), 436. Link

Fitzgerald, R. J., Price, H. L., & Valentine, T. (2018). Eyewitness identification: Live, photo, and video lineups. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 24(3), 307. Link

Oriet, C., & Fitzgerald, R. J. (2018). The single lineup paradigm: A new way to manipulate target presence in eyewitness identification experiments. Law and Human Behavior, 42(1), 1. Link

Smith, A. M., Smalarz, L., Ditchfield, R., & Ayala, N. T. (2021). Evaluating the claim that high confidence implies high accuracy in eyewitness identification. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Link